Washington AVAs 2010 Growing Degree Days total

The 2010 wine-grape growing season is officially over and the numbers are in. Through much of the season, 2010 was a near-mirror image of the last “cool” season of 1999 until an Indian Summer kicked in after mid-September. Warm daytime temps with only a couple days of sprinkles allowed the grapes to physiologically mature and develop “vineyard flavors”.

Expect moderate alcohol percentages (read: 14%) with bright, complex flavors that will reunite with food. The hottest areas will produce wines more typical of a Walla Walla-origin. Only three areas appear to have questionable ripening for king cabernet, missing the theoretical 2400 AGDD50 cut: Snipes Mountain, Yakima Valley-Prosser and all of Puget Sound. The only true “disaster” area was the Puget Sound AVA, although Walla Walla got a more-than fair amount of rain, which creates its own problems (mildew, thin flavors).

AVA (station)                               AGDD50(long term average)   (2010)     (2009)   2010 rain

Red Mountain (Benton City)         3302                                          2753         3018      5.7 in.

Wahluke Slope (Mattawa)             3088                                          2709         3095      5.45

Horse Heaven Hills (Paterson)     3054                                          2758          3180      8.45

Rattlesnake Hills (Outlook)           2941                                          2601          3072      6.9

Walla Walla Valley (W.W.)            2824                                           2555          2862      13.3

Yakima Valley (IAREC)                2610                                           2325          2663      7.6

Puget Sound (Mt. Vernon)           1656                                           1407           1638      20.8

Columbia Gorge (Mary Hill)                                                            2702           3267      8.6

Lake Chelan (Chelan South)                                                            2547           3050     10.6

Snipes Mountain (Port of Sunnyside)                                            2398           2891       4.9

–info from WSU Viticulture and Enology (posted Nov. 1, 2010)

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